March for Science

22 April 2017

92nd day of Trump Presidency
March for Science starts off
The March for Science begins as people leave the grounds of City Hall, Philadelphia.

From Newsworks: "Scientists worldwide left their labs to take to the streets Saturday along with students and research advocates in pushing back against what they say are mounting attacks on science."

So how's the Trump Administration doing on the 92nd day of a unified Republican House, Senate and Presidency? Well,

To date, the one campaign pledge Trump has unequivocally checked off is the confirmation of a conservative Supreme Court justice, Neil Gorsuch, practically a given with Republicans controlling the executive and legislative branches.
The Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, I think, really has to take all of the credit for that one as it was his idea to not confirm President Obama's nominee back in February 2016, Judge Merrick Garland. Gorsuch really took over a stolen seat. Trump could have put up pretty much anybody and would have gotten them approved.

Marching down Market St
The various Marches for Science drew tens of thousands of marchers all around the world. Yahoo News estimates Philly had 20,000 marchers.

TPM goes on to look at four items, the Trump Administration decided not to do anything on regulatory reform. Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House took the lead on trying to roll back the ACA/Obamacare and THAT was a complete cluster****. The party is trying to turn to tax reform. It's obviously going to be a "Reverse Robin Hood" scenario where they take from the poor and give to the rich. The one really needed legislative priority, infrastructure, is the one where Democrats favor doing it, the public would like it as it creates jobs, but the Republican Party is ideologically predisposed against it and so it's very highly likely nothing will ever get done.

WTF?!?!!? Way back when, in the year 2016 (December, to be exact), executive orders were considered to be a bad thing. They were so bad, in fact, that President Obama was described by World Net Daily as "pen-happy" because he was putting out so many evil, awful, terrible executive orders. Now, Kellyanne Conway says executive orders are a wonderful thing! Jeanne Pirro of Fox News tweets that Trump has now put out 28 such orders and she says that as though it was a good thing!

Lonely Trump supporter
Lonely Trump supporter amid generally pro-science crowd. Does President Trump support science? Evidence is pretty strong he doesn't.

The attack on a Syrian military airstrip completely reverses our President's long-standing rhetorical preference. What's probably the most interesting aspect of the attack is how many people who were incredibly critical when President Obama proposed such a strike back in 2013, but are suddenly okay with one now. Are the situations vastly different? No, not really. The perpetrator, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and victims, ordinary Syrians in a town that Assad is trying to take, are largely the same. Actually, I should specify that Assad is the alleged perpetrator, because what was the evidence that Syria launched a chemical strike in the first place? Erm, it's not very compelling, actually.

There's my sister Cindi in the foreground.

Unfortunately, media enthusiastically endorsed the drone bombing. Public reaction was very partisan. A bare majority supports overall, Republicans approved by 86%, Democrats by 37%. Funny thing is that only 22% of Republicans supported such strikes back in 2013 while Democratic support remained about the same.
Trump Administration puts out a rather strained explanation as to why they're still not accepting Syrian children as refugees.
And why didn't Obama invade Syria back in 2013 or at any other point? Actually, he had a really good answer to that. Essentially it's a really complex situation that was (and still is) highly likely to turn into a quagmire. Oh, and Kurdish leader does not support overthrowing Assad to begin with

stage at end of the march
Stage at the end of the march.

North Korea said it would conduct a nuclear test, US responded with threats. This was worrying, but the North Korean missile blew up upon launch. What followed that was actually more worrying as a long-term issue. The President threatened North Korea and decided to "rattle his sword," in other words, to send an aircraft carrier battle group to "show the flag." Now, here's the problem with having a part-time Commander in Chief who spends more time on the golf course than just about anywhere else. President threatens North Korea with "Armada." But instead of heading towards North Korea, the USS Carl Vinson and accompanying ships were actually heading towards Australia to take part in a scheduled exercise. As many bloggers say "This. Is. Not. Normal." South Korea loses all trust in US, China concludes US is run by idiots. Bloggers do a deep dive into the reasons why the President lost track of an aircraft carrier battle group.

So how'd the Easter Egg Roll turn out? It shouldn't have been anything to sweat over, but “White House solicits Sesame Street characters for Easter Egg Roll four days after bid to end PBS funding." It ultimately wasn't TOO embarrassing, even though the students attending it were mostly white.
And sure, this'll work! Trump threatens ACA subsidies unless Democrats provide funds for border wall with Mexico.
Now, it is entirely normal for new Presidents to dismiss all of the US state attorney generals and to start fresh. However “A month after dismissing federal prosecutors, Justice Department does not have any U.S. attorneys in place." Notice that it took two months to dismiss all of the US attorneys. One would think that when such an action is taken, that an administration would be ready to take the next step, that is, to have replacements ready to go.

still not at the end of the march several minutes after re-tracing the march route

Well, THAT'S pretty cool! The Industrial Revolution is generally dated to have begun about 1750. This will be Britain's first coal-free day since then!